Sheffield Steelers: Developing Ferrara out to make mark against Panthers

Luke Ferrara
Luke Ferrara

Luke Ferrara is no longer the rookie who gets the odd few seconds of ice time with Sheffield Steelers.

The 22-year-old product of Peterborough’s youth system has earned a regular shift on the wing for Steelers in the last few weeks.

The one-time trainee is fast, direct and follows the directions given to him by coach Paul Thompson.

When skipper Jonathan Phillips returns from injury, as he might do very soon, ice time will become more competitive again.

But a previous goal against Boxing Day opponents Nottingham Panthers, and another against Braehead Clan this year, shows he knows how to find the net and is improving with every second on the ice.

Last Boxing Day was a difficult lesson as part of his apprenticeship, when Sheffield were hammered 4-0 by Corey Neilson’s Panthers.

He certainly hopes they can go some way to reversing that when the big rivals meet again in this year’s first post Christmas fixture.

“I remember last season coming out and thinking ‘oh my God look at crowd, the lights, everything,” he said. “It was crazy, like nothing I’d played in before.

“The atmosphere was completely different to any other game, but this time I need to be completely focused on the game rather than other things going on.

“We have a game plan to follow and you have to try to forget about how many fans are there and just focus on getting the two points.

“You try and treat it like any other game. But obviously you know it’s not!

“But I have scored against them, it would be great to get another. It is a big stage to do that, so it would be nice.”

Ferrara believes other than Steelers’ home defeat at the hands of Coventry Blaze, results and form had been good and it was important to get back on that trail.

And he revealed getting more ice time and the odd goal have given him more confidence.

“Individually it’s nice to score and the guys give you praise and it just builds from there,” he said. “But it’s more about the team, really.”

Nottingham are currently one place above Sheffield, in second, with a one point advantage.

It is hoped the clash at Sheffield Arena will be a sell out.